With nearly 95 percent of America’s schools closed due to coronavirus concerns, actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams's newly launched #SAVEWITHSTORIES initiative is gaining momentum and helping the country’s most vulnerable kids continue to learn and get the nutrition they need while they’re home from school.
The actors are sharing their favorite books and stories on Instagram and Facebook – and asking their friends to do the same – to drive donations to Save the Children and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign’s coronavirus response efforts.
Committed to meeting the most urgent needs of children during the global pandemic, Save the Children and No Kid Hungry are providing books, learning materials and nutritious meals to children in America’s poorest communities, as 57 million students across the country depend on school for learning and development and 30 million children eat school meals.
Since its March 16 launch, 89 stories have been read on #SAVEWITHSTORIES, generating more than 41.7 million views and 141,000 followers, and enabling Save the Children to give food and critical educational resources to nearly 90,000 children in 200 school communities across the country. No Kid Hungry and its partners are helping provide up to 800,000 meals per day to kids affected by school closures.
“With the outpouring of support from Jennifer, Amy, their friends and caring individuals across America, more and more children are getting the continued learning opportunities that are critical for their development during this unprecedented time,” said Betsy Zorio, vice president of Save the Children’s U.S. Programs & Advocacy. “As some school closures are now persisting through the end of the school year, summer 2020 could be the longest and most detrimental summer of children’s lives, impacting the growth and development of the nation’s most vulnerable kids living in poverty. To help prevent wide-scale learning loss and a wider achievement gap, we need to get essential educational resources to more families so they can keep the learning going at home.”
With the support provided by #SAVEWITHSTORIES, Save the Children staff was able to distribute books to the most vulnerable kids in Whitley County, Kentucky, this past week, adding more support to the local school district’s daily meal distribution by bus. Two hours down the road, in remote Knott County, Kentucky, Save the Children staff have been partnering with the local school district to provide care packages to area families that include wipes, books, early learning tips and fun, educational activities, all handed out during breakfast and lunch deliveries along the district’s bus routes. These are just some of the many deliveries and efforts made possible by the new initiative. As the national leader in early childhood education, Save the Children has also launched Coronavirus and Kids: Resources from Save the Children, providing free educational resources, including Scholastic At Home, as well as tips for families across America.
Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company is a founding partner of #SAVEWITHSTORIES and secured numerous titles from its highly regarded library that are featured as part of the initiative. Scholastic is committed to its mission of helping kids learn and proud to be supporting children and families.
“Scholastic is proud to partner with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry on this important initiative. With many schools, libraries and bookstores closed across the country, it’s essential to create ways for kids to still access books,” said Ellie Berger, EVP and President, Scholastic Trade Publishing. “Now more than ever, families need wonderful stories to enrich their learn-at-home experiences and provide the joy and comfort of reading together in unsettled times.”
As part of its coronavirus response effort, No Kid Hungry has issued emergency grants to schools, food banks and community groups feeding kids nationwide. Grantees are using the funds to hire drivers for mobile meals trucks, open new meal sites, provide backpacks full of food and other initiatives to ensure kids get the food they need while schools are closed and beyond.
“Even before the coronavirus hit, millions of low-income families were struggling to keep their heads above water, making tough tradeoffs between things like food, rent, transportation, child care and medical costs,” said Lisa Davis, senior vice president of the No Kid Hungry campaign. “With millions of children relying on free or reduced-price school meals, we must ensure these kids don’t fall through the cracks as schools close across the country in response to this pandemic. We’re thankful to Jennifer and Amy for their leadership in shining a light on this important issue with #SAVEWITHSTORIES, and for the outpouring of support from individuals. We know this is a challenging time and it’s inspiring to see so many stepping up and doing what they can to help meet the needs of our nation’s children during this crisis, and after.”
Check out #SAVEWITHSTORIES on Instagram. To support Save the Children and No Kid Hungry’s coronavirus response efforts in America, visit www.SavetheChildren.org/SAVEWITHSTORIES or text SAVE to 20222 to make a one-time $10 donation to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.